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Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience

Posted in General by SaratogaCFF on Monday, November 20, 2017 at 11:20 am
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Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience

By Paula L. Zimmerman, LMHC


Monday, November 20, 2017 is this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience. This day honors those whose lives were lost to violence against people who are transgender, and to respect and be supportive of the resilience that people who are transgender demonstrate. It is observed annually on November 20th, and it started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith to honor the memory of Rita Hester. Ms. Hester was a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The “Resilience” part of that title has recently been added to honor the ongoing strength that transgender people have.


According to “The Report of the APA Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance”, published by the American Psychological Association, “Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity (sense of themselves as male or female) or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex.” In my opinion, there has been progress in the general population’s understanding of what “transgender” means and progress in the love and support offered to those who are transgender. At the same time, there is a long way to go.


All I have to do is look on the feeds of the two social media accounts I have to see that there are still many people who do not understand nor appreciate people who are transgender. Now I certainly do not have all of the answers, and I can’t speak for others, but I am happy to have conversations with people who want to increase their knowledge and want to increase my knowledge. The keys to this is remembering to remain respectful, and to enter the conversation with an open mind and desire to help us all be kinder to each other. Meanwhile, these social media feeds also show that many people are loving and caring about transgender people.


I honor and respect transgender people who have worked so hard to raise awareness, who have stood up for what is right, and who have risked themselves to make this a better society. I support transgender people in their life journey. I support transgender people. I honor those who have lost their lives to violence against transgender people.


If you would like to have a conversation with me about this or anything else, my generally used pronouns are “she” and “her”. I would be fine with the pronouns “they”, “their”, “he”, and “his”.


I owe credit to the following sources for some of the information I have noted above:

  • American Psychological Association, “The Report of the APA Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance”, (2009) p. 95
  • The Pride Center of the Capital Region website: www.capitalpridecenter.org
  • GLAAD website: www.glaad.org
  • Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saratoga Springs website: www.uusaratoga.org